Meeqat point & ihraam violations

Q379 :Some eleven years ago, I came to Saudi Arabia. Two months after my arrival, I went out with two friends to do the Umrah for the first time ever. We started from Madinah by car, without any knowledge of the meeqat. It was the driver who was supposed to tell us. When we reached near Badr, the driver showed us a small mosque by the roadside and said that it was the meeqat. We put on our ihraam garments there. We later performed several Umrahs, always wearing the ihraam garments at that mosque. But subsequently I learned that the meeqat was different. I did not offer any sacrifice or compensation, because a friend told me that mine was a genuine mistake. Could you please explain whether compensation is required.

A379 : You remain at fault for not asking a proper person to tell you where you should start your Umrah. You relied on a driver who was not even a national or a regular driver on the road. So, your source of information was definitely wrong. Relying on him is certainly your fault, and cannot be described as a genuine mistake. It is negligence on your part. As such, compensation is required, but the sort of compensation is determined by the nature of your fault. One possibility is that you started from Madinah with the full intention that you are going to do the Umrah. As such, you are considered automatically to be in the state of consecration or ihraam when you reach the point of meeqat, although you may still be wearing your ordinary clothes. This means that you were in ihraam without observing its rules. Hence the compensation is less severe and you have three options to choose from. You may, if you wish, fast for three days, or feed six poor people, or you may slaughter a sheep. Whatever method of compensation you choose is adequate. The other possibility is that you did not form your intention to do the Umrah until you reached Badr. In such a case, you crossed the meeqat and you did not resolve to do the duty of the Umrah. Here the violation of the rules is more serious, and the compensation, consequently, more restricted. You have only one option which is to slaughter a sheep. It is you who can tell which of the two violations you did, and it is you who can decide which compensation is due of you. But this compensation is required for each time you did the Umrah starting from that little mosque at Badr. I recommend you to go ahead and do the compensation in order to make each one of your Umrahs complete.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )